Grace, Assurance and Fellowship: New Items Posted

My quest continues as I post older materials to my website, some published, some previously unpublished.

1.  On October 8-9, 1993, I led a Men’s Leadership Retreat at Camp Idlewild, Virginia on the topic “Where’s the Grace?”  (It is not my fault, Bob Clark invited me!) I have uploaded the lesson handouts and my rough lecture notes (60+ pages) on my General page. The retreat was structured in six sessions.  This was a very early piece of work and while I would still agree with the substance, I would tweak several things and restructure a few (e.g., no recognition of the “new perspective on Paul” here, insufficient stress on eschatology, too forensic with justification, etc.).  However, it does represent my thinking in 1993.  🙂 

  • Grace: A New Topic Among Us?  Topic:  Grace and Churches of Christ
  • The Way of Salvation  Topic:  Unity of the Covenants
  • Grace is Free!  Topic:  Justification
  • Grace is not Cheap!  Topic:  Sanctification
  • How Can I Be Sure?  Topic:  Assurance
  • How Much Will Grace Cover?  Topic:  Fellowship

2.  I have uploaded a piece which I presented on several occasions and have sometimes discussed in the classroom.  I have never published it. I am not quite sure when I actually wrote it but it was sometime in the mid-1990s.  It is entitled “The Implications of Hebrews 5:11-6:3 for Fellowship and Assurance”.  Building on the foundation of the ABCs of the teaching of Christ in Hebrews 6:1-3, we are encouraged to progress to maturity.  However, our progress is often flawed, many times regressive, and never what it should be.  For the preacher of Hebrews, however, regression, immaturity and even spiritual lethargy is not apostasy. Rather, apostasy is unbelief, an evil and hard heart of rebellion.

3. I have uploaded a piece I wrote for the Harding University Lectureship book Ephesians in 1994 entitled “Saved by Grace (Ephesians 2:8-10)”. The article offers a textual and theological analysis of Ephesians 2:8-10 in the context of the early 1990s debate within Churches of Christ on the topic of grace (including Rubel Shelly’s (in)famous “arbeit macht frei” bulletin article).

4. Also, somewhat hesitantly, I offer my lecture notes on Jimmy Jividen’s Koinonia: A Contemporary Study of Church Fellowship.  I presened this material in Jividen’s presence and he commented that he thought I had a good grasp on his book and was fair with it. This lecture was given in 1989 and consequently it is quite dated.  But it reflects my understanding at the time….I think.  It is hard to remember now.  🙂

I offer these “classics” from the 1990s realizing that if everyone had just listened to me back then, we could have solved this thing and moved on. 🙂

5 Responses to “Grace, Assurance and Fellowship: New Items Posted”

  1.   K. Rex Butts Says:

    Since the professor is now uploading materials which he would tweek a bit now, will he ever upload the manuscripts to those first two books he wrote that HUGSR students have a nack for digging out of the bowels of the Graves Library :-)?

    Just teasing a bit. Thanks for all your work. It is greatly appreciated.

    Grace and peace,


  2.   Terrell Lee Says:

    Just curious, John Mark… What have you written/published/said that you wish you had not? Would it have anything to do with spiritual gifts?

  3.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Rex and Terrell, I will not bite on that bait. 🙂 Actually, there are many things I wish I had not said, several that I wish I had not written. One day I may have to write a book like Augustine’s called Retractions. 🙂

  4.   Brian Says:


    Do you know of a place where Rubel Shelly’s bulletin article can be read? I tried a Google search but didn’t come up with the article itself.


  5.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    You can read his speech at HUGSR preacher’s form where he explained his bulletin article more fully at I don’t think the bulletin article is online itself. I believe Goepel Music has a full copy of it in his “Behold the Pattern” book if I remember correctly. But I am in FL at the moment and do not have access to my library to check.

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